Junior lawyer's skillset: The art of good negotiation

Junior lawyer's skillset: The art of good negotiation


What makes a successful lawyer? What are the qualities of a good lawyer in a negotiation situation? Following on from our other articles, Junior lawyer’s skillset: Effective communication, and Junior lawyer’s skillset: 5 tips for presenting with style, next in our junior in-house lawyer series is an insight into the dynamics of good negotiation.   

Negotiation is probably one of the more advanced skills we have discussed in this series. The outcome and success of a deal or contract is also highly variable and difficult to predict, which can make preparing for meetings more challenging.

Skilled negotiators don’t always know the outcome of the meeting when they enter it. However, it is their responsiveness to the arguments of other side, their assertiveness and their sensitivity to human behaviour that will ultimately dictate the success of their position.

In our LexisPSL series, on Junior Lawyer Development, we outline the following key characteristics of a successful lawyer and negotiator.

The good news is that as a trained lawyer you will probably have most of these under your belt in some way:

PatientThey recognise they may not get everything all in one sitting
CreativeAlways looking for different ways to satisfy the requirements of everyone
FlexibleAble to changing conditions in the market and around the negotiating table
Ask lots of questionsKnowledge is power and asking questions can give knowledge
Don’t annoy the other sideThey recognise the importance of the long term relationship
Control emotionsNot giving in to shouting and tantrums to get their way
ConfidentPortraying a confident manner, even if they may not always feel it
Well preparedHave done their research and understand what’s on the table
Play to their strengthsUnderstand their own style and how to use it to maximum effect
AdaptableAble to adapt their personal style to influence others


However, how do you know how to respond

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About the author:
Amy is a content writer and marketing manager at LexisNexis. She previously worked as an independent writer and researcher, for clients such as, Unilever, Kantar TNS, The Soil Association, MasterCard and Lufthansa Airlines. She has written for national publications, including City A.M. and Financial IT. Amy now writes and plans editorial content for the LexisNexis blogs, campaigns and industry magazine features. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Italian and French from the University of Warwick.